Syzygy — Cosmos & Chaos - 20th Anniversary Edition
((Not on label) 8 27770-11233 3, 1994/2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-02-14Twenty years ago the band was a trio called Witsend, and they released their debut CD Cosmos & Chaos on a private east-coast label that did little to promote it, and as a result it sank like a stone, almost unnoticed. But that didn’t slow down these Cleveland, Ohio based musicians from going forward. Nine years later they re-emerged, now with a new band name – Syzygy, and a new album The Allegory of Light. Now after several more releases, and the addition of a full-time bassist, the band felt it was time to go back and revisit their debut, re-record some of the parts they were initially unhappy with, re-sequence the cuts into what they felt was a more sensible order, and add 27 minutes of bonus material, including two cuts by the very earliest version of the band (then a quartet) in 1984, everything remastered nicely. In its original incarnation, Cosmos & Chaos featured six longer progressive rock cuts featuring the entire trio, one with vocals by guitarist Carl Baldesarre, and six shorter solo pieces or duets for guitar, piano and bass that connected the band cuts like instrumental interludes. For this 20th anniversary edition, all of the shorter solos and duets are front-loaded together at the beginning of the album, starting things of with a more introspective feel, building in intensity. Then all the full band pieces follow, beginning with the instrumental epic “Voyager,” a slab of classic prog rock in every sense; this was the cut that kicked off the original album, a powerful opener then, and it still holds up well later in the program as the intensity continues to build. The vocal track “Circadian Rhythm” follows, just like it did in the number 2 spot on the original album. “Closure” is another powerful prog instrumental, followed by the more overtly rocking “Strange Loop II.” The bonus material starts at track 13 with two studio cuts by the early band (both excellent instrumentals), and then two live cuts recorded in 2010, including vocal versions of “Strange Loop II” and “Mount Ethereal” featuring singer Mark Boals. This was a good album back when it was first released, and even better now due to the resequencing, touch-ups, and remastering.
Related artist(s): Syzygy (Witsend)
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more